As a global producer of consumer products, the environmental impact of packaging is an important area of focus. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is used both in primary packaging (which comes into direct contact with the product) and secondary or tertiary packaging (which does not come into direct contact), such as bottle cap seals.
Each of our three business sectors set out to eliminate PVC as part of our Healthy Planet 2010 goals. Our consumer businesses sought to remove it from primary, secondary and tertiary packaging (not including over-the-counter drug products in blister packages), while our pharmaceutical and medical device and diagnostics business focused on secondary and tertiary packaging. By the end of 2010, we had eliminated over 3,000 tons of PVC:
• Consumer Products: 87 percent reduction in primary, secondary and tertiary PVC packaging. Of all consumer packaging, 99.6 percent is now PVC free.
• Medical Devices and Diagnostics: 100 percent reduction in secondary and tertiary PVC packaging.
• Pharmaceuticals: 78 percent reduction in secondary and tertiary PVC packaging.
As part of the Healthy Future 2015 Goals, the Consumer Products and Pharmaceutical groups of companies have set goals to remove remaining PVC packaging by year end 2012, (except for over-the-counter drugs in blister packages).